Report: Some NHL in Olympics talk (not much, but some)


Hey, at least there’s some talk about the NHL participating in the 2018 (and really, 2022) Olympics, even if it’s seemingly preliminary.

League deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that the NHL, NHLPA and IIHF met “very quietly” a couple weeks ago to dip their toes in the early issues.

With the World Cup of Hockey looming, it’s fair to wonder what might happen with the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

As LeBrun explains, the 2018 and 2022 Olympics essentially go hand-in-hand, as the league must mull the logistical challenges vs. the potentially lucrative possibility of increasing the sport’s prominence in Asia.

The prevailing theme is “preliminary,” but LeBrun’s report is still worth a read, especially if you’re a big fan of international hockey.

Wayne Gretzky shoots down Russian coaching rumors, Cristobal Huet makes best of time in Switzerland

Here are two overseas hockey items via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, from Switzerland and Russia.

  • Honestly, I hadn’t really heard these rumors, but there were some whispers about former Phoenix Coyotes coach (and, oh  yeah, possibly the greatest hockey player ever) Wayne Gretzky coaching in Russia for SKA St. Petersburg. Despite being friends with SKA chairman and KHL president Alexander Medvedev, LeBrun reports that Gretzky shot the rumors down.
  • LeBrun also writes that jettisoned Chicago Blackhawks goalie Cristobal Huet is making the best of things in Switzerland, despite the fact that he would prefer to be in (and thinks he belongs in) the NHL.

“It was hard this summer,” said Huet, whose salary is still mostly paid by the Hawks. “But that’s something I dealt with then. I’m trying to make the most out of my situation now. I enjoy playing hockey here. We have some great guys and some great fans. I’m just trying to enjoy the game.”

LeBrun points out that Huet played four seasons in the Swiss league and actually is married to a Swiss woman, so there’s at least a certain comfort level personally. Of course, before you feel too bad for the exiled goalie, don’t forget about his considerable financial comfort: that $5.625 million salary. It might be off Chicago’s salary cap, but that doesn’t mean it’s off their payroll.